That somewhat loopy game against the Lightning whetted the appetite for real hockey. Maybe not with Conor Timmins playing as a forward and the ATO du jour as a backup. But a series that does leave you asking: wait, are we blue in this one? Sign me up.

Recap: Shorthanded Leafs beat Lightning in playoff preview
The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second time to win the season series ahead of their first round matchup in the playoffs next week. The Leafs hung on to win 4-3 thanks to goals from William Nylander, Luke Schenn, Calle Järnkrok, and Ryan O’Reilly on

News from around the league

Every NHL Team’s Most Surprising Player During the 2022-23 Season
As we wind down the NHL season, it’s a time to reflect on where things sit now compared to where we thought they would back in September. That’s a long way of…
Melbourne to Host First Ever NHL Games in Southern Hemisphere
2023 NHL Global Series - Melbourne to Feature Preseason Matchups Between Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 23-24
The header picture up top is the location for these games. 
The dream has died (for this year).

The other side of that coin is that NJ has moved to one point behind Carolina, and they each have one game left. The top two in the west are in a similar situation and aren't sorted out yet.

In the other meaningful wild card game, Pittsburgh lost to Chicago, and if you do that in game 81, guys, you don't deserve playoffs. Florida clinched their wild card spot while not playing, and Winnipeg has the west locked in, so there's one open spot, and the Islanders can just take it by winning tonight vs Montréal.

National Men’s Under-18 team staff named for 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship
Jeff Truitt will lead Canada as head coach at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship in Switzerland, alongside John Dean, Bruce Richardson and Justin Pogge. Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, IIHF U18 World Championship, U18 worlds, Team Canada

Czechia defeated Switzerland very handily at the Women's Worlds last night. That sets up the quarterfinals which begin tomorrow. We'll have more on that later today.

Leafs news

Calle Järnkrok got his first ever 20-goal season.
‘Get that joy back’: Matthew Knies makes meaningful Maple Leafs debut
48 hours removed from a “devastating” loss in the NCAA Championship game, Matthew Knies took to the ice for his Toronto Maple Leafs debut, a meaningful contest that helped the forward “get that joy back.”
Kyle Dubas talks Maple Leafs’ run of amateur backup goalies, injured Ilya Samsonov
Joseph Woll will start in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lighting after a complicated cap situation prevented the Maple Leafs from calling up Woll Monday.

Site news: I've tweaked the number of top-level comments that load to try to ease up on mobile users. I have a project to try to improve mobile performance in general – it failed a test – so I'd like your opinion on what non-comment pages seem to load slowly. I have an idea of what to work on, but I'd like your perception.

Bear in mind that limiting comment loads brings in the dreaded load more button. But maybe we don't need whole threads at once. It's currently set to 75, maybe 50? Note: this does not include replies, so it's tricky to pick a good number. Tell me what you think.

Have a great day and see you tomorrow for the last regular season game.